Keep Your Notebook Computer Longer! A Safety and Care Guide for Laptop Computers

Laptop computers – also known as notebook computers – have become an important part of our lives. They are more affordable than ever and as popular as cell phones. A laptop computer has a versatility that the home PC does not provide. With its smaller size it is portable and easier to carry along. This makes it convenient to use in many situations. You can take it to work and back home as well as take it on more extensive travel.

Laptop computers are not just for older working people anymore. Because of its ease of use, more young people are using them for school and college. They can access the Internet almost anywhere and provide updates for work, research, and even games.

Taking Care of Your Laptop or Notebook Computer

It is important to take care of your laptop computer and protect it from accidents. They are designed for heavy use but common sense will tell you that you need to be prudent in your treatment.

One of the first recommendations is to buy a case designed for a notebook computer. These are made with padding to protect your laptop computer from wear and tear and protection in case you drop it. It is not good to carry your notebook computer unprotected or in a purse or backpack. You can easily find a case by shopping online where you will find 1000s of products to choose from.

Another important tip for laptop computer care is to keep food and drinks away from it. Even a small amount of liquid is enough to ruin the delicate components in the laptop computer. It means almost certain replacement, and most warranties will not cover it. It is not worth the risk to lose all your data.

Protect Your Notebook Computer

When using your laptop computer you should always use a surge protector. An electrical surge may not hurt it one time, but continued surges could destroy it. If you are using a cable or dial-up modem during a storm, be sure to unplug it. Lightening can travel through phone lines and ruin the laptop computer.

You should not leave your notebook computer in a cold environment. This can cause condensation when you return it to a warm area and could cause the circuitry to short it out. If it has been in the cold, let it warm up before turning it on.

When traveling with your laptop computer, be sure to charge all your batteries before you leave. You might not know when you will be able to charge them again. On a long trip, take extra batteries to avoid this problem.  By shopping online, you can find the supplies you need as well as other products such as iPods, jewelry, games, toys, sporting goods, pet supplies and cell phones – even free gifts.

Do not leave your notebook computer unattended and do not check it as baggage when flying. Keep it in your hands at all times to avoid the possibility of theft. Don’t try to disassemble or repair your laptop computer; this is a job for professionals. You may inadvertently cause more damage by your lack of knowledge.

Shopping Online

When you are ready to buy a laptop computer, cell phone, iPod, or other electronics, shopping online will provide everything you need.

History Of The Computer; The Emergence Of Electronics

The history of the computer inevitably includes the development of electronics, we look at the explosive (!) growth of electronics in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

If anything could be said in favor of war, it may be that it speeds up the development of technology. Of course much of that technology is employed in killing people and destroying infrastructure, but there are also things which could be considered beneficial.

Electronics was around in the early part of the 20th Century, wireless, or radio, was in its infancy at the time of the first world war. Radio broadcasting came into prominence in the ’20s and 30’s, Television started in the ’30’s.

The second world war, from 1939 in Europe, and a couple of years later involving the USA, ended in 1945. Radar (Radio Aid To Detection And Ranging) was developed from early experiments, just prior to the war, in Britain and Germany. There was rapid development in the field, and, by the end of the war, Radar was being used in several fields.

Aircraft Navigation – Using ground transmitters in sets of 3, widely spaced, to give an aircraft using a receiver a method of pinpointing its position. This is a similar system to that used in gps today, substituting satellites for the ground stations.

Targeting – A beam was transmitted from a Radar station in England so that it intercepted a target in Germany. An aircraft could fly along the beam, guided by signals, dots or dashes, if it strayed off the beam, left or right. Known as flying on the beam.

Interception – a series of ground stations around the South-East coast of England, feeding into a central control room, where their tracks could be displayed, significantly assisted in the Battle of Britain (1940).

Airborne Interception (AI) – Developed towards the end of the war, used a Tranceiver (transmitter/receiver) in a night fighter to find a target in the dark, or bad weather, and track it to within firing range.

Beacon – A tranceiver was located at the end of a runway so that ground staff could guide a returning aircraft to land in bad weather, this became more and more sophisticated, developing into GCA or Ground Controlled Approach.

Shipping – radar equipped vessels could track other vessels in darkness or fog, whether peacefully or aggressively.

Many other sytems were developed or initiated in that 6 year period. Knowledge of electronics, and what it could be used for vastly increased. In parallel with the development of radar, other fields of electronics were also advancing, under pressure from the requirement to improve the technology.

Long range guns on ships or in the field needed to be aimed accurately. The calculations required in ballistics to aim a gun so that you can hit the target, or aim a V2 rocket so that it hits London from continental Europe, are phenomenal.

This, then was the scene at the end of the war. We knew how to tackle large calculations with speed, and we had developed a new concept in electronics, Pulse Technology. This is so called because radar uses short pulses of high energy, for two main reasons.

1. The pulses can be coded. For example, in the Navigation example we looked at, 3 ground stations transmit a signal whose source needs to be identified. One transmitter could transmit a series of single pulses spaced say 10 milliseconds. A second could transmit a pair of pulses at 10 millisecond spacing, and the third 3 pulses. A chart would tell the navigator where the pulse sets were transmitted from, and the distances obtained from the radar set used to locate the position on the chart.

2. The power, or strength, of the signal. A continuous radio signal, like a radio broadcast, takes a given amount of power. However, a 1 millisecond pulse every 10 milliseconds, uses only one tenth of the power, on average. So a radar transmitter can have a much greater range for the same power. This is is especially important in a primary (transmit and receive) radar system, where we must detect the reflection of the signal we transmit. Likewise a secondary (receive) radar system, for example the navigation system above, will have a bigger range.

Next we will look at how early computers were now possible due to these developments.

Computers and electronics while traveling overseas

Well i’m off on my holidays,this time abroad,the good ole USA,but i still need to be “on-line” on a daily basis for my personal & business needs, so i have brought some lightweight products ,that don’t take much room and are easily transportable

1,  THE COMPUTER

Well the first thing is the computer ,shall i take my old compaq armarda M700 ,which has been usefull in the past or shall i invest in a new one , here we go scouting around the shops or should i say online ,there’s so many choices from, this notebook to that notebook with this spec’ to that spec’geez my holiday will be over before i choose one at this rate .In the finish i have made my choice on size ,purely for travelings sake ,i went for for a Packard Bell XS200-06,seems a pretty good choice to me, it has a built in web cam ,microphone ,ofcourse speakers,bluetooth ,wifi , hey its the business,as long as you have keen eye sight, as the screens a bit small, its ideal for me.only weighs a couple of kilo’s, so i thinK i have made a good choice.

2,  MUSIC

Now i’m not into music in a big way just a few songs,so i won’t be taking too much in that regards ,cut out the cd’s, so i have brought myself a mp3/dab radio .my other portable radio packed up so this one will do two jobs.As i’m driving over 2000 miles i need some entertianment to keep me entertained,and my experiences in the past of radio stations in america have not been good i can record off the net my favourite english station and download onto my new Alba mp3 player,and thro’ a simple device can get it playing thro’ the car stereo system..im ready to go now .

3, ATTACHMENTS & ACCESSORIES

So what do i need in this area,i prefer a handheld mouse rather than the inbuilt touch pad ,i’ll be taking my phone so i need my charger,head set perhaps ,external mic so i can keep in touch with “back home” at a discount rate,carry case, Now buying these bits indiviually might cost a few pounds , but wait i have found something cool, the local supermarket is selling computers & accessories this week, lets see what they’ve got…I’m in luck an accessory pack for £14.99  WOW,what a deal. Now i ain’t heard that much about Tevion products but anything else i have brought from there seem good quality, and for that small amount i’m prepared to take a chance ,so what do we have?

1, USB KEYPAD…………….not much use ,but i can make the space usefull for something else
2, USB HUB 4-WAY………….great as the laptop has only 2 usb sockets this might come in handy
3, USB CABLE……………..okay if i need a bit of extension i guess
4. EARPIECE with MIC………great,small compact and will definatly come in handy
5, NETWORK CABLE …………okay this might be usefull at some of the motels i stay at
6, USB MINI OPTICAL MOUSE….fantastic will be extreemly usefull
7, MINI USB ADAPTOR……….saves me taking the mp3 cable ..great
8, USB PIN ADAPTOR………..may be useful at some point
9, USB LIGHT……………..i’ve found these out to be useless in the past ,but you never know

and all wrapped up in a smart 6″ x 2″ zip up case what a GREAT deal

So there we are i’m ready to go i got my electronics, my ticket the faithfull credit card next stop AMERICA
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Cool Designs In Consumer Electronics

Most consumers own several electronic devices that have features that perform the same function. This is because consumer electronics are designed to blend in with the needs that consumers have and are marketed solely on one feature and the other features tend to blend into the background. A cellular telephone will include features such as calculator and calendars, but since these consumer electronics are sold individually, there is little talk about duplicated features in any magazines.

Consumer electronics like personal digital assistants are designed to perform tasks that are identical to tasks performed by larger devices but are used more because they are portable and can be enjoyed in many settings where the larger device will seem inconvenient. Many people will own personal computers and use the connectivity devices to download music to the handheld consumer electronics such as MP3 players and PDA’s, but they will enjoy the storage space found on the computer and store musical files until they are needed.

A person has the option of installing global positioning devices into the dash of their automobile or using these consumer electronics from portable devices such as PDA’s. Some computer software programs will serve the same purpose and a person will find that they can use the internet search engines to find websites that will perform exact distance calculations from one place to another. All of these consumer electronics will perform the same task but consumers are given a choice in which one they want to use and most users will consider the cost of using each method.

Some people use consumer electronics to help with mathematical calculations. A handheld calculator is very useful to a budget conscious shopper, but will prove to be an invaluable tool for someone who is performing intricate equations for algebra. Some users will need consumer electronics while at work because buying materials for a job site will require a building contractor to know the square root measurements of all building surfaces.

Computer software can be used to calculate the cost of every home remodeling project and consumer electronics like flash sticks can be used to store the files safely until they are needed. Computer technicians can use these devices to store many files that are needed for completing compute repairs, and other consumer electronics can be used to verify if electrical connections are energized or not safe to work on.

Other consumer electronics will make tasks simpler and reduce the cost of building projects. Electronic devices such as stud finders allow building contractors to find objects behind drywall that are not visible with the naked eye. A contractor might need consumer electronics such as heaters to make paint dry faster. When the building is finished, the occupant will rely on other electronic devices to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the building.

While the design of consumer electronics is angled toward accomplishing a specific purpose, many devices can be used to accomplish a variety of tasks. Electronics are meant to simplify life and serve as forms of entertainment outside the home. Radios are one of the consumer electronics that can provide safety information if it is tuned to the right channel, or it can help keep drivers awake while driving for hours on a busy highway. Some consumer electronics are capable of putting drivers in contact with fire, police or ambulance companies in the event that an accident occurs on the roadways.

The Truth About Refurbished Electronics

We all prefer to purchase new when it comes to, well, just about everything. Unfortunately, though, the luxury of buying a brand new item is something that we are simply not afforded at all times. There are a variety of reasons why, in some instances, we are resigned to purchase “used” rather than new; money and accessibility being the most obvious points. However, there can be a positive avenue to this, which is, of course, the ability to save money by purchasing a less than new product. And, the benefits of purchasing “refurbished” items are no more prevalent than they are in the field of refurbished electronics.

It is important to note, right off the bat, which refurbished – when it comes to electronic goods – does not mean used, old or previously enjoyed. As a matter of fact, the definition of what constitutes a refurbished electronic item has a variety of meanings. A refurbished electronic item can be, for example:

•    An overstock item that is no longer being produced by the manufacturer

•    An item whose packaging has been damaged during transport, even though the item itself has not been affected at all and remains in perfect working condition

•    A product that has only featured in a store for display purposes only

•    Items that have cosmetic defects (i.e. incorrect color scheme) only, with no issues with quality

When it comes to refurbished electronic goods, such as an iPod, Xbox, Playstation or camcorder, anything that isn’t “new” is considered refurbished, and must be sold as such. Because of this, the shopper can easily save hundreds of dollars when purchasing a refurbished item versus buying a new item. In many cases, the refurbished electronic item in question is in just as good of working condition as a brand new electronic item. But, because of certain circumstances, that item is no longer identified as new.

Before some of you thumb your nose at the thought of purchasing a refurbished item, consider this scenario: you are purchasing a used Xbox 360 from a friend of yours. There are stains on the console, you’re getting the item in a plastic bag, and your friend has a reputation of not being so delicate with his belongings.

Would you purchase that Xbox 360, or one that has never been used or opened, but one whose box has a tear in it because it caught on someone’s watch during handling? Or would you purchase your friend’s coffee stained version over one whose box was opened because someone simply wanted to see what was inside, and that’s all?

And another caveat for purchasing refurbished; while your friend is a stand-up person, he probably won’t offer you a manufacturer warranty on the game. Most refurbished electronics still have their warranties intact, so, as a consumer, you are protected.

More and more people, companies and retailers are capitalizing on the value of refurbished electronics. For manufacturers and retailers, it’s a great way of moving out excess stock and items. And for consumers, refurbished electronics are a fantastic way of getting a high-quality item at an exceptionally low cost.

As with any purchase, due diligence and research is paramount to locating a respectable retailer who can give you the best deal possible when it comes to refurbished electronics. It is no different than, say, purchasing a used car or a pre-owned home. You would never think buying a used car or home is a bad idea, and you would never do it blindly either. The same principle applies to purchasing refurbished electronics. A good idea, when, combined with research, can prove to be a great benefit to the consumer.

With video game consoles becoming more and more expensive, and with more competition to choose from, there needs to be an outlet for people to get what they want without having to exceed their financial considerations. Everyone wants the hottest video game system, MP3 player or video camera out there, but not everyone can afford to purchase them either. For those who can’t, there is an option, and that is to purchase a refurbished version of the product. Again, in many cases refurbished does not mean opened, used, enjoyed, repaired or rebuilt. It just means that the item can not – by law – be defined and sold as a brand new product.

It also means that savvy customers, who don’t mind paying a little less, will end up with an exceptional electronic item at an exceptionally low cost.

It’s A Binary World – How Computers Count

Many have cursed their computer for taking things too literally! It’s easy to blame the computer when something goes wrong.

You get to the checkout at the market, and the item you bought ‘on special’ comes up at the full price. The manager has to be called to fix it up, and what does he say?
“We’ve been having problems with the computer, it gets the wrong price on some things.”

You put in a list of addressess to your Word processor, and print off party invitations for next week. Then you find that today’s date has been inserted in the signature block – by the computer!

Maybe you have heard the expression ‘Garbage in Garbage out”? Someone, at some point instructed the computer to do what it did, It didn’t decide to screw you up deliberately. Computers can only do what they are told, they are more logical than Spock and they take everything literally.

We are going to look at why they are so pedantic!

The world around us has many aspects which work in the same way as a computer. There are many examples of opposites, for instance Up and Down, Left and Right, Forwards and Backwards. A light may be On or Off, maybe it’s Night or Day. Yes or No? You can think of many others. This system of two possible states is called a Binary System, if it’s not one, it must be the other.

A computer uses the Binary System to perform all its functions, the basic unit, originally a vacuum tube, then a transistor, then a chip, is used thousands of times over to make the total unit. The light being On or Off which we mentioned above is controlled by a switch. In the computer this switch is a transistor, which is either On or Off.

Now we get to the Math! Don’t worry, it’s very simple Math! In fact it’s so simple we only count up to 1. That’s right, we can only have two states so we count from 0 to 1. (That’s another thing computers are pedantic about, they insist on starting at zero).

The Binary system is a Number System. You are familiar with the Decimal system which has 10 numerals 0 to 9 (think like a computer 0 comes first). You can make up all sorts of number systems for whatever purpose you want. You probably know about a dozen (12) and have also heard of a half dozen. If you’ve used your computer much you may have come across the Hexadecimal system. This one has 16 ‘numerals’ 0-9and A-F. Another number system used by computer people is the Octal system which has 8 numerals, 0-7.

Ok so how do we count with only 0 and 1. Simple, in exactly the same way you count in decimal. The first ten numbers are OK, 0-9, but what next? We start again but add in a 1 making 10 or “one, zero”. This gets us to “one, nine” and we go to “two, zero”, and so on up to “nine, nine” then we again add a 1 to make 100 – “one, zero, zero.”

If you’ve followed me so far you are ready for the Binary sequence, it’s much simpler. Starting off at zero we have 0,1 – and that’s it. We follow the same rule and add in a 1, making “one,zero”. Next come “one, one”; then “one, zero, zero”; -“one, zero, one”; etc. These are equivalent to Decimal 0,1,2,3,4,5. How does this relate to computers? That’s next.

In our computer we have transistor switches, as described above. For the math example we just looked at, we need 3 switches. These each represent a Binary Digit, or Bit. To represent a Decimal 1, these switches would be OFF,OFF,ON or 001. For a Decimal 5 we would have ON,OFF,ON, or 101. By extension you can see that with 4 switches we could go to 1111 or 15 Decimal.

Five Reasons to Love Macintosh Computers

If you’ve never owned an Apple computer, you don’t know what you’re missing. On the other hand, if you regularly use Macintosh computers, you understand that once you have a Mac, you’ll never go back. An Apple Macintosh – whether it’s a MacBook, a Mac Pro, or an iMac – takes personal computing to a whole new level. I bought my first iMac in 1998, have upgraded twice, and am still happy as a proverbial clam. Here, then are five reasons to love the Apple Macintosh.

1. Cool elegance. If there’s one thing Steve Jobs knows how to do, it’s designing electronics that are ultra-cool yet beautifully elegant. Why have a cumbersome big box desktop computer when you can have everything you need in an elegant iMac? Behind that clear, bright 16:10 aspect ratio monitor is the entire computer, including a DVD drive and a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor. There’s even a webcam built into the iMac so you can video chat or video conference whenever the whim strikes.

2. Intuitive functionality. Even though Windows copied the friendly desktop interface from Apple Macintosh, they still haven’t been able to get it right. Navigating the Mac’s interface is truly intuitive, engaging, and just downright fun. With a mobile computing product like the MacBook, you can take full computing functionality wherever you go. And, wherever you’ll go, you’ll always be connected, since the MacBook automatically finds nearby wireless networks and gives you nearly instant online access.

3. Digital living. Macintosh computers are designed to embrace the digital lifestyle. MacBooks and iMacs come with iLife, a wonderful array of applications that let you effortlessly share photo albums, record podcasts and songs, and even create and edit movies. You can even publish your creations on the Web with a single click. How cool is that?

4. Bug-free. If you’ve been wrestling with Vista the past few months (or any other Windows operating system, for that matter), you don’t know the meaning of freedom. Macintosh computers’ operating systems are bug-free, and as for upgrades, you get to choose when to receive software update notifications, and always have the choice of updating now or in the future. Mac simply isn’t intrusive; you get to control technology, instead of having technology control you.

5. Workhorse. Macintosh computers are more than a way to frolic in your spare time. They’re also workhorses. For years, graphic artists and publishers have almost exclusively used Macs for work. With the Mac Pro, you can get Adobe Creative Suite 3, a suite of tools specifically designed for creative professionals. Whether you’re a web designer, a graphic artist, an art director, or a video professional, Adobe Creative Suite 3 will make your work easier, better, and more fun.

There are those who say that Macintosh computers are limited in that much of the available software is only compatible with PCs. My experience is that my Mac can do anything a PC can do – and do it better. But for those diehards who insist that they can’t live without Windows, the next version of Mac OSX, Leopard, will allow you to install Windows XP on the Mac. Right now, you can run Windows in emulation mode…although for the life of me, I don’t understand why you would want to!

Don’t Throw Away That Laptop, Get A Replacement LCD Screen

Many people are paralyzed when their laptop computers are broken or damaged. They are willing to do almost anything or pay any price to get the offending piece or part replaced so that they can get on with their lives.

One part that is especially vulnerable on a laptop computer is the screen. An LCD screen, the type of screen that is used in most laptop computers, is very vulnerable to scratching or other damage.

Fortunately, a damaged LCD screen is not the end of your laptop. Replacement LCD screens can be very affordable and the turn around time to getting them fixed can be very quick if you know where to go and what to look for.

The first thing you will want to do when you are looking for replacement LCD screens is to not panic. Many people get too upset when their computers aren’t working and then they set themselves up to get taken advantage of.

Investing even an hour or two into finding the right price and an honest repairman could make all the difference in the quality of repair that you get.

However, that extra hour or two that you should spend shopping for replacement LCD screens usually won’t get your computer back to you any faster and may end up costing you time.

Look for local places with good reputations. Call around and ask about pricing before you show up. You may also want to call friends, family, and acquaintances for recommendations.

Actually, the ideal time to locate honest and good computer repair people is when you first get your new computer. After the warranty runs out, you will need to take care of problems yourself.

Ideally, you should do the research on where to get replacement LCD screens and other parts and repairs when you first get your computer. However, if you didn’t do that, all is not lost. You can still quickly determine where the best place to go to get replacement LCD screens with just a couple of simple tips.

There are many stores that offer great prices on the internet for replacement LCD screens. However, unless you are sending your computer back to the manufacturer for a covered repair, sending out your laptop for repairs like getting replacement LCD screens is ill-advised.

With the mail, you are only lengthening the amount of time you are without your computer. Secondly, replacement LCD screens are a common repair and don’t require sending it to some company far from where you live.

Also, you run the risk of losing or damaging your computer while it is being shipped. Lastly, what do you really know about the company where you are mailing your computer?

It could be a scam of some kind and taking action would be very difficult and expensive. Staying close to home is usually a much better and quicker policy.

Blu-ray Technology

New technology is now making it possible for viewers to record and store high definition programming onto DVDs. Blu-ray Disc is one method of recording HD content onto an optical disc. A blue-laser optical disc (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4) is used. Systems that use this technology will be able to play traditional DVDs, but the goal of Blu-ray is to create an image that’s as close to the HD format as possible. The name Blu-ray comes from the blue laser that decodes and copies information to each disk. Blu-ray technology may very well revolutionize the world of high definition programming. The Blu-ray disc format offers greater potential for storage, usually 25 gigabytes, which exceeds that of a standard DVD (15 gigabytes). One single-layer Blu-ray disk can hold about four hours of high definition content. A two-layer disk can contain eight hours of HD content. Four- and eight-layer disks are now in the works. These disks would have storage capabilities of 100 and 200 gigabytes. The Blu-ray recording system utilizes a shorter wavelength for recording information than traditional CDs and DVDs, and this is part of what allows it to hold more content on a single disk.

Blu-ray has also influenced the computer industry, specifically in terms of data storage capability. A number of major companies have come out in support of Blu-ray, including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, Pioneer, and Sony. Hewlett Packard plans to market desktop computers and laptops that utilize Blu-ray technology. Sony has announced that it will introduce a Blu-ray component in PlayStation 3, which is expected to appear in November of this year. Microsoft has also said that it may add a Blu-ray component to its Xbox 360. Currently, Blu-ray is only available in Japan, but it will appear in the United States in May, in video games and a DVD system that recreates a high definition effect on a viewer’s TV.

Many movie studios have Blu-ray films planned for future release. In 2005, Sony Pictures cornered the market on the first Blu-ray feature-length movie disk, which was none other than Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Studios that support the technology include Walt Disney and Twentieth Century Fox.

Competing with Blu-ray in the area of HD storage is HD DVD. HD DVD disks have less storage capability, but they’re cheaper to produce. Other big-name companies are showing their support for this option, including Microsoft, Intel and Toshiba, as well as Universal Studios. In what may be the smartest move, some companies are backing both types of technology, ensuring that their products support both Blu-ray and HD DVD. These companies include Samsung, Paramount and Warner Brothers.

Blu-ray is facing challenges from other competitors in the HD market: the Enhanced Versatile disk, the Digital Multilayer disk, and the Holographic Versatile disk are a few alternatives to Blu-ray.